Demonstration at UCL – students and staff surround Provost’s office

At 1PM on the 3rd of March, over 200 students and staff at University College London began a demonstration at the Gower Street Campus. They were demonstrating against cuts that the management of UCL, one of the richest universities in the world, is planning to make. Although jobs and services across the university are at risk, the heaviest cuts are currently aimed at Life Sciences and Modern Languages. Students at Westminster, having ended their three-day occupation, marched to join the demonstration at UCL, where they were greeted with cheers. A UCL student said, “the turn-out at our demonstration today, and the confident mood among staff and students, has been really helped by the Westminster students, and we’d like to thank them for the steps they took.”

The demonstration marched down to Malet Place, and entered the main university building. To the cheers of staff we met on the way, the demonstration marched up through the corridors, to the office of the Provost, Malcolm Grant, and demanded that he come out and explain to staff and students why a university that made a huge profit last year should be making vicious cuts. He declined to come out, and instead had security keep students and staff from his door. Around 100 students sat down outside for over an hour and chanted and discussed what the campaign should do next. At this point it was announced that students at Sussex had occupied while staff announced a 76% vote for strike action, and the Vice Chancellor at the Univesrity of East Anglia was besieged by students demanding transparency and negotiations. At around 4PM the protesters left, vowing to come back soon. Organising meetings are ongoing, and the UCU’s strike ballot is still being prepared.

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